In 1925, Gijsbert Clements (1878-1963), a farmer's son from Varik opened a galvanising plant in Alblasserdam, Verzinkerij Clements. He had married Johanna Klip, daughter of Aart Klip, who had a galvanising plant in Kinderdijk. This promising technology prolonged the life of iron products by protecting them from oxidation, but Gijsbert's timing could have been better. The great crisis kept demand low. The plant survived, but did not expand. Photo: Verzinkerij Clements in 1929. Source: Leo Clements. In 1939, Gijsbert retired in favour of his eldest sons Frans (1906-1964) and Aart (1915-1971).
After the second world war, the economic reconstruction changed everything. Railways, bridges pipelines and much else needed repair and replacement.
The company could do it all and more. It found its niche in galvanising the huge pylons that support the backbone of the national electricity grid. Coffee, sugar and pylons went well together at Verzinkerij Clements. In 1946, new, larger plant arose on Zuiderstek in Alblasserdam. Photos: Verzinkerij Clements in 1956, sugar bag. Source: Leo Clements.
While reconstruction tapered off, demand for Clements' products remained high. An even larger plant, De Vonk, on Edisonweg in Alblasserdam made sure the company was ready for the future. It opened in 1964. Photo: Verzinkerij Clements around 1964. Source: Leo Clements. Frans died a few months later. Aart, realising that continuity was at stake now, oversaw the sale of the company to the Bammens Group in 1968. Aart died in 1971 after which Kees Stam continued his work. Photo: Verzinkerij Clements around 1964. Source: Leo Clements.
With thanks to and appreciation for Leo Clements, one of Gijsbert's grandsons, for information and pictures.